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Council produces new bi-lingual workplace safety leaflet

12 December 2018

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor John Boyle, today launched a special workplace safety advisory leaflet to help assist Chinese businesses in the catering sector, produced in Chinese.

The resource has been developed by Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Safety & Consumer Protection team, working in partnership with the Sai Pak Chinese Community Association, Migrant Centre NI and Foyle Race Equality Forum.

It specifically supports the Chinese catering sector with the aim of raising awareness about the dangers of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Printed in both Chinese and English, the leaflet will help overcome language barriers and support the Chinese business community in understanding key safety messages.

Launching the leaflet, Mayor Boyle stressed the importance of Council’s role in assisting ethnic communities in accessing vital information. “Chinese Catering businesses are an important part of our business sector and indeed the wider community within our City and District. Council has been proactive in offering support to the community over the years, particularly through the efforts of our Health and Safety & Consumer Protection Team within the Environmental Health Service. 

“The partnership work that has gone into producing this guidance information helps to directly remove barriers to accessing important health and safety advice for the local Chinese catering sector. We hope that it becomes a useful resource for people working in the food industry.”

Council’s Head of Health and Community Wellbeing, Seamus Donaghy, highlighted the importance of the partnership approach taken in developing the leaflet. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with our partners in the community sector on this initiative,” he stressed. “It was important to bring together a range of expertise in producing this guidance to most effectively support the Chinese catering sector.”

Irrespective of sector, slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work and make up over a third of all major injuries. The Health and Safety Executive note that between 2011 and 2016, falls were the biggest single cause of workplace fatalities in Northern Ireland. Across all sectors, over 10,000 workers suffered serious injury because of a slip or trip last year, and 95% of major slips result in broken bones. They can also be the initial cause for a range of other types of accident such as a fall from height.

All catering premises have hazards that need to be identified and managed, and slips, trips and falls can present a very specific challenge in the catering environment. The good news is that the majority of work-related incidents are preventable by adopting simple steps to manage risks in the workplace and this leaflet clearly outlines examples of these.

Welcoming the guidelines, Tommy Yeung, Chair of the Sai Pak Chinese Community Association said: “A lot of care has been taken by all involved to produce guidance that is accessible, straightforward and will be of actual practical assistance to Chinese catering businesses. This leaflet will help Chinese caterers to identify and tackle real life hazards such as slips, trips and falls that can easily present themselves in daily working life. Proactively addressing these hazards in the workplace helps to reduce risks and keep everyone safe.”

Further information on the work of the Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team and on health and safety at work, is available from the Derry City and Strabane District Council website: www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Environmental-Health/Health-Safety-and-Consumer-Protection-Team